The Wisdom of Muhammad Ali

atkins bookshelf quotationsMuhammad Ali (1942-2016), born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxing champions in history (earning the nickname GOAT, Greatest of All Time), with an impressive record of 56 wins and 5 losses and winning the heavyweight title three times in a row (1964, 1974, 1978). Shortly after winning the heavyweight title in 1964, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name.

Ali thrived in the spotlight — he held memorable press conferences where he spoke his mind. At times he was arrogant, boisterous, outrageous and controversial, but he could also be very humble, thoughtful, and eloquent, sharing words of wisdom and inspiration. Here is Ali at his best:

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

“When we are right, no one remembers, but when we are wrong, no one forgets.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

 “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

“A man who has no imagination stands on the Earth; he has no wings, he cannot fly.”

 “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

“At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

 “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

Wars on nations are fought to change maps, but was on poverty are fought to map change.

 “Stay in College, get the knowledge, stay there until you are through. If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something of you!”

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

 “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

 “I’m gonna fight for the prestige, not for me, but to uplift my little brothers who are sleeping on concrete floors today in America. Black people who are living on welfare, black people who can’t eat, black people who don’t know no knowledge of themselves, black people who don’t have no future.”

The Wisdom of Tom Shadyac
The Wisdom of Martin Luther King
The Wisdom of Maya Angelou
The Wisdom of a Grandmother
The Wisdom of the Ancient Greeks

The Wisdom of Lady Grantham
The Wisdom of Morrie Schwartz

The Wisdom of Yoda
The Wisdom of George Carlin
The Wisdom of Saint-Exupery
The Wisdom of Steven Wright
The Wisdom of Spock


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